A bottle of the 2013 relaunched Black Bottle. Owners Burn Stewart have decided to return the brand to its original 1879 roots, including the black glass that gave the blend its name. With less of a focus on Islay, there is less peatiness than hitherto, with the smoky flavours being balanced with increased fruitiness and elegance.
Nose: Freshly cut oak and caramel. Hint of something medicinal at the back, but with heavy brown sugar notes swamping it. Hints of nail varnish touches and polished oak.
Palate: Milk chocolate, ginger, lots of woody spice, brown sugar, sour apple hints, golden syrup behind.
Finger: Lingering syrup with touches of cinnamon and freshly sawn oak
Comment: Very focused on Golden Syrup sweetness, with that richness backed up by lots of woody notes. Very different to the previous edition, with no real smoke, but packed full of sweet and rich flavour.
Nose : Fresh and floral with freshly sawn oak aromas. Spicy with hints of smoke.
Palate : Silky, mellow and fruity with balanced smoky / peaty flavours then sweet oak and heather honey.
Finish: Soft, elegantly spicy, nutmeg, pepper and a gentle lingering smokiness.
Customer Reviews: (49 reviews)
I am devastated at the decision to change the flavour, I don't like it and won't be buying anymore. Why change it when it was so individual and well liked.
- Louise Walker, 3 days ago
Nice Glass, I think I paid for the whisky, but it seems it was purely coincidental.
- anonymous, 20th Sep '13
For the money, this is amazing! Easily the best blend I have tried. 3rd July 13
- Ashbo, 3rd Jul '13
Not like other blends in my experience, which are generally spirity, metallic and shallow. Lacks the length of a single malt, and you can taste the grain, but overall it is more balanced and accessible than cheap unbranded Islays They claim there is a bit of every Islay in BB (I have even read that there is Port Ellen in there, but it can't be much at this price!) Maybe that explains Tim Hain’s comment about it being enhanced by anyone’s favourite Islay.
- James, 19th Dec '12
This taste took me back to how many whiskies used to taste. I loved it and so smooth.Not sweet as many are today. Its a mans whisky not a boys.
- Johnny Norfolk, 4th Nov '12
This is a very nice blend with well integrated peat and malt flavours, but I find it to have a noticeable grain spirit note that reminds me of vodka.
Still, definitely one of the very best blends in this price range.
- anonymous, 27th Sep '12
Tastes like TCP
- anonymous, 17th Jun '12
Very good, excellent 'bang for your buck' but not quite what I was lead to expect. Much more malty than peaty initially, although if you leave it to breath and warm up, it exhibits a whiff of peat-smoke. Very sweet.
- Grant Melville, Falkirk, 17th Apr '12
Exceptional complexity for blended whisky, showing some real character. Different kind of smoke, peat and fruit playing together like well mannered toddlers. A bit sour sweet at the mid palate, though. A good lenghty finish.
- Mikko, 16th Apr '12
At this price the best blend available, this whisky is superb, smokey and floral and smooth
- Jughead, 16th Mar '12
I would say "undernoticed" rather than "underrated": reviews are always very good (sometimes too good to be true). To compare what is comparable: to my taste, it comes 4th (out of 20, to this day) behind Teacher's, White Horse & B.N.J. in the No-age-stat. scotch blends category. And yes, it's a good whisky, certainly better than many aged blends or malts. Speaking of malts, if you love B.B., go for its core (Bunnahabhain & Deanston) if you can.
- J.- P. J., Lyon, 29th Feb '12
This beauty is light years ahead of other brands in its price range. Best £16 I ever spent...
- Luke, 6th Dec '11
this stuff is unreal for its price defo in my top 10 scotch's
- the yorkshireman, 1st Dec '11
My Dad's favourite - 'nuff said!
- anonymous, 14th Nov '11
Tried this for the first time and realised that I had been missing out for years. The taste, smoothnes with just the right amount of peat in the background makes this a winner in my books. Just ordered a few more
- Richard, 11th Nov '11
as a Scot,i have been drinking this off n on for over 30 years now..only a couple o'nips a night mind you...now living in milton keynes,England,i have introducted many,many people to the delights of Scotlans best kept secret...the good thing,the big chain pubs in England don't sell it....a nice surprise for our dinner party guests,SIMPLY the best blended whisky in the world...and the Scotish judge awards it 10/10...pure perfction,all ways copied but never equelled.
- haggishunter, 2nd Nov '11
Puts Johnnie Walker to shame. I prefer this over Blue Label. Hands down.
- anonymous, 1st Nov '11
This is good. No, more than good, and with the price tag astounding is probably more apt. Smooth as you like straight from the bottle, bags of rich flavour, some smokey peat and a wonderful aroma. You can instantly pick up on the classy Islay malts that form its heart. I actually prefer this to many single malts costing twice the price...
- Captain Duff, Lancashire, 2nd Oct '11
I was introduced to BB recently. It is a wonderful blend. Islay in a nutshell, if you wish. The balance between fruity and smoky aromas is excellent. There are young ones here that give it a certain edge. A blend full of character. For the price it is definitely one of the best I have sampled. I have been a single malt drinker for two decades now, and this drew my attention to the fact that blending, in itself, is an art.
- J. - Espoo, Finland, 24th Aug '11
Brilliant blended whisky. Please don't be put off by the low rent packaging. Excellent price (web price is similar price to a bottle of Bells). Blows most Johnny Walkers (with the exception of Gold label) out of the water including Blue label which is about ten times the price!